Michael Dapaah | SWIL

The popular web series ‘Somewhere in London’ that brought about the rise of renowned fictional rapper ‘Big Shaq’ is back for a second season. Michael Dapaah, the series’ star and creator, has once again returned to the streets of London, bringing with him a selection of new personalities to join the iconic characters from season one. Alongside ‘Dr. Ofori’, ‘Patrick’ and ‘Big Shaq’, tea re introduced to ‘Damien Johnson’, an American actor/TV personality. 

Showcasing his range of versatile talents across a spectrum of comedy and music, Dapaah continues to transition flawlessly between the personalities of each character. Writing the entire script, Dapaah sets out an inspirational series, including a number of underlying messages behind the dialogue, taking the audience on a comedic and emotional viewing experience.

Moreover, #SWIL2 introduces a whole new level of comedy with material catering to all audiences. Expanding the personalities and stories behind each character in greater depth, characters both old and new become more detailed. With comedy embedded throughout each episode, the infusion of gripping stories combines to showcase true artistry and a compelling series, with growing suspense for the coming final episodes.

Who is your favourite character from the series? old or new and why?

I don’t think I have one they all challenge me creatively and I get different reactions from each one. They also tap into different audiences so I wouldn’t say I have a favourite per say.

Which character do you feel relates the most to your own personality?

It would have to be a cross between Dr.O & Big Shaq. Dr.Ofori I relate to because of my heritage and how I like to carry myself in particular places, he also has a funny playful side. As for Shaq his fearlessness and he’s prepared to do whatever it takes to get the job done, doesn’t care what people say and a little bit of his lingo. 

How has the production process for this season differed from season 1?

It’s been a HUGE jump, previously there were two people (Myself/ Marv Brown directing) and a group of actors, now there’s a team of 10-15 people, sometimes up to 40 people, on a set depending on how big the scene is. There’s a lot more thought, organisation and structure for each episode. The scripting really challenged me as well to make sure everything was perfect because I don’t want to let my supporters down. 

How did you go about writing the script for season 2?

I took time out stopped everything I was doing, I went into hibernation you could say. Some days were really great in terms of getting hours of work done, sometimes it was 30 minutes. Definitely one of the hardest things I’ve had to do in my career, I even handed my social media over to my team so they could still run the page.

What made you decide to incorporate the demeanour of Big Shaq as a character in this season?

I really wanted to show the character development and different sides to Shaq’s life, there’s a lot more to him then just a song or funny one liners. I also incorporate different messages in each episode, I think that’s why I decided to incorporate this demeanour of Big Shaq this season

Was there any particular scenes or episodes in season 2 that took longer to write than others? If so, why was this?

The finale was the most difficult to write as there were so many moving parts to the episode. I was very specific about how I wanted it to be created as its the last one and I wanted it to end on a bang! Also I really wanted people to see the artistry that went behind it and bring something new to the table.

Where did you get inspiration from when creating the new characters?

Just being in the shower, you know I think I’ve had my best ideas in the shower, it just clears my mind. I can really think things through in there lol. 

Do you have any favourite moments from producing the series?

Everything. This was such an eye opening experience, working with loads of new people, learning new skills in acting, producing & directing. 

9.How do you bounce between the personalities of each character when you’re filming with each of them being so different?

That’s a great question, I have to channel my brain into going into each character. To really embody their demeanour, I put them in different scenarios in my head and act it out, basically like that movie split just not as crazy lol.

What is next for SWIL? Can we expect a season 3?

Boy!  Who knows… we’re just going to have to wait and see

Follow Michael Dapaah on Instagram

Words: Lorna May

Photography: Pip